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Juvenile Law Center
Recipient of the 2008 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions
Luzerne County
Last Updated: March 29, 2010

Press Releases
March 17, 2010

January 25, 2010

January 21, 2010
  • Read the Testimony

  • November 20, 2009

    October 29, 2009

    October 29, 2009

    August 12, 2009

    August 10, 2009

    August 10, 2009

    August 3, 2009

    July 17, 2009

    June 10, 2009
    Asks Supreme Court to Expunge Records Created in Judicial Kickback Scheme

    April 27, 2009

    March 26, 2009

    February 26, 2009
    Suit Seeks Financial Redress for All Children Adjudicated Delinquent by Ciavarella

    February 11, 2009
    Appoints Judge Arthur Grim of Berks County Court of Common Pleas as special master to investigate the violations of children’s rights.

    February 10, 2009

    January 29, 2009
    Hundreds of Youth Potential Victims of Ciavarella Corruption Scheme

    January 29, 2009
    For families of youth adjudicated delinquent and placed in detention by Judge Ciavarella

    January 14, 2009
    Court Denies Juvenile Law Center’s Application for Relief on Behalf of Hundreds of Youth Claiming Violations of Civil Rights

    December 22, 2008
    Hundreds of Luzerne County Youth Denied Lawyers in Juvenile Court

    June 17, 2008

    April 28, 2008
    Pennsylvania Supreme Court Petitioned for Emergency Relief

    Background
    In early 2007, Juvenile Law Center attorneys began to investigate irregularities in Luzerne County, as they heard from youth who were adjudicated delinquent (found guilty) in the County juvenile court. Read more...

    Legal Documents



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    Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Hearing Transcript (Testimony from representatives of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Pennsylvania For Modern Courts, and the Judicial Conduct Board)—February 2, 2010
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    Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Hearing Transcript (Testimony from representatives of the York County Public Defender’s Office, National Juvenile Defender Center, Equal Justice Works, Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services, American Bar Association, and Victim Resource Center)—February 1, 2010
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    Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Hearing Transcript (Testimony from representatives of the Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, National Center For Juvenile Justice, and Mental Health Association of Pennsylvania)—January 22, 2010
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    Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Hearing Transcript (Testimony from representatives of the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission, Juvenile Law Center, the Department of Public Welfare, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education)—January 21, 2010

    January 29, 2010
    PA Supreme Court addresses Judicial Conduct Board disclosure to Interbranch Commission.
    In Re: Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, Application of: Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania, No. 53 WM 2009:

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    Majority Opinion (Castille)

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    Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Hearing Transcript (Testimony of the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania, the Judicial Conduct Board, Luzerne County Commissioners, and an assistant district attorney)—December 8, 2009
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    Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Hearing Transcript (Testimony of school officials, an assistant district attorney, assistant public defenders, probation officials, youth, and families)—December 7, 2009
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    Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Hearing Transcript—(Testimony of Judge Arthur E. Grim, Joseph A. Massa, Jr., and Sandra Brulo)—November 9, 2009
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    Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice Hearing Transcript— (Testimony of Judge David W. Lupas, Jacqueline Musto Carroll, Basil G. Russin, and John Johnson)—November 10, 2009
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    Amended Master Complaint—August 28, 2009
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    JLC's Motion for Preservation—Dated: July 17, 2009
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    Exhibits A–O—Dated: June 10, 2009
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    Supreme Court Order — Regarding First Interim Report and Recommendations of the Special Master, Dated: March 26, 2009
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    JLC's Federal Civil Rights Action—filed Feb 26, 2009: H.T. et al. v. Ciavarella et al.
    April 28, 2008 JLC Application to PA Supreme Court:

    In the News

    Restoring justice takes group effort, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 3/31/10

    Juvenile Law Center asks for changes to Luzerne system, The Scranton Times Tribune, 3/19/10

    JLC seeking improvements in juvie laws, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 3/19/2010

    No repeat of juvie scandal the goal, Mark Guydish, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 2/2/10

    Judicial board must turn over complaint, Terry Morgan-Besecker, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 1/31/10

    Judicial board must turn over complaint, Michael Rubinkam, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 1/31/10

    Pa. prosecutor won't retry dozens of tainted cases, Michael Rubinkam, The Washington Post, 1/25/10

    Open juvenile proceedings, panel is urged, Mario F. Cattabiani, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/22/10

    Limited power, resources hampered judicial misconduct investigation, Michael R. Sisak, The Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice, 1/16/10

    Judge rejects ex-judges' attempt to delay civil suits, Michael R. Sisak, The Hazleton Standard Speaker, 1/14/10

    Immunity for judges not an end for families analysis, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 11/22/09

    Immunity for judges not an end for families analysis, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 11/22/09

    Double zeros for tolerance, responsibility, Editorial, The Scranton Times-Tribune, 11/15/09

    Luzerne officials deny knowing of abuse, William Ecenbarger, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/11/09

    Court system gone awry, Mark Guydish, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 11/11/09

    Editorial: Justice restored, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/4/09

    Bringing justice to them all, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 11/2/09

    Opinion: Vacated cases vindicate justice, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 11/1/09

    How juvie scandal was uncovered, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 10/31/09

    Families, victims find peace, Michael R. Sisak, Citizens Voice, 10/30/09

    All Ciavarella juvie convictions vacated, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 10/30/09

    Pa. high court tosses 'tainted' juvenile cases, John Sullivan and Robert Moran, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/30/09

    Pennsylvania Overturns Many Youths’ Convictions, Ian Urbina, The New York Times, 10/30/09

    Parents thrilled by court ruling, Jen Marckini, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 10/30/09

    Luzerne’s youth-court scandal: How?Why?, William Ecenbarger, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/25/09

    Editorial: Judging the judges, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/19/09

    Town Without Pity, Wendy N. Davis, ABA Journal, September 2009

    Conahan and Ciavarella indicted by federal grand jury, The Times Leader, 9/9/09

    Judges withdraw guilty pleas, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Times Leader, 8/25/09

    Jurist recommends tossing juvenile convictions, Dave Janoski, The Citizens Voice, 8/13/09

    Judge: Void juvenile convictions, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Times Leader, 8/13/09

    Luzerne judge recommends tossing convictions, Walter F. Roche Jr., Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/13/09

    Order maintains juvie records, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Times Leader, 8/8/09

    Rendell Signs Juvenile Justice Law, Scott Schaffer, WNEP-TV, 8/7/09

    Bad Judges: No Deal, Editorial, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/6/09

    Plea Agreement by 2 Judges Is Rejected in Pennsylvania , Ian Urbina, The New York Times, 7/31/09

    Plea agreements rejected for 2 Luzerne County judges , Robert Moran, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/31/09

    Court: Preserve juvie records, Michael Rubinkaim, Times Leader, 7/23/09

    Pa. youths want tainted convictions tossed, Michael Rubinkaim, The Associated Press, 7/17/09

    In testimony, a closer look at Luzerne court doings, John Sullivan, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/3/09

    Young Lives Ruined, People Magazine, 4/13/09

    Video: Kids Jailed for Cash?, ABC’s 20/20, 3/27/09

    Despite Red Flags About Judges, a Kickback Scheme Flourished, Ian Urbina, The New York Times, 3/27/09

    Hundreds of Pa. juvenile convictions reversed, International Herald Tribune, 3/26/09

    A Judge's Victims, Interactive Media, The New York Times, 3/26/09

    More news and media...

    Juvenile Law Center
    1315 Walnut Street, 4th floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Local: 215-625-0551
    Toll free: 1-800-875-8887
    Fax: 215-625-2808
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